There are many factors that can influence the emotional development of a human being. First of all, before one even considers these factors, it is important to understand at the very core what exactly amounts to “emotional development”. Emotional development, unlike physical development, is very difficult to measure as it involves very subjective considerations. Unlike physical development, which can be measured using objective criteria over a period of time, emotional development is more abstract. That being said, it is also capable, to some extent, to study and chart an individual’s emotional development.
Studies have revealed that there are mainly two factors that influence the emotional development of an individual : nature and nurture. The classic battle of nature vs nature rears its head again as parties from opposing camps attempt to put forward their point that one has a larger effect on emotional development than the other.
“Nature” in this sense refers to physical and biochemical properties of the individual. Sometimes, the lack of a specific hormone (or excessive amounts of a hormone) can severely affect a person’s emotional development. Studies have shown, for example, that a high level of testosterone can make an individual more aggressive and bold, where else high levels of estrogen would show an increase in sensitivity and emotional connection. This is the more “scientific” approach to emotional development.
“Nurture” on the other hand, refers to the environment in which an individual is brought up and/or surrounded. It is said that there is a significant impact on the influence of the parents and family of a child in determining its emotional development. For example, a child that is raised in a family that values emotional sensitivity is more likely to adopt the same values than one which was brought up to hide or suppress emotions. As such, it cannot be denied that nurture also has a similar impact on the emotional development of a human being.
Whatever the factors may be, it is important to note that emotional development is important and vital to all individuals and it is necessary for us to achieve our fullest potential. Emotional development should not be curtailed and the factors that influence and encourage positive emotional development should be nurtured and cultivated to ensure that the individual becomes well-rounded and adjusted, and a valuable member to society. The failure to pay sufficient attention to these details and factors could result in undesirable circumstances for everyone.